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    Favorites, Makeup, Skincare

    August 2014 Beauty Favorites

    Eek! Can’t believe it’s that time of the month again! No, not that one, the other one – the time for favorites! *cue confetti shower*

    Today marks my 32nd week of pregnancy (only 6-8 weeks to go!) and I seriously can’t wait, not just to meet my bub, but to get rid of all this nausea, backpain, dizzy spells and whatever else comes with pregnancy!

    Anyway, this past month was honestly the most horrible month I’ve had (pregnancy-related, of course) so I stayed home 90% of the time this month, which could only mean one thing – I rarely get to wear makeup. Boohoo! Every time I go out I’ve only been wearing the exact same makeup items (too lazy to choose!) but it’s fun how I get to experiment with more skin care products.

    So, here it goes…

    (PS: Thank you & much love to Roanna (@paradeoflove, for tagging me to do this!)

    Related Posts: Clinique Cheek Pop Blushes Review & Swatches, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation vs Serum Gel Foundation Comparison Review

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    Favorites, Skincare

    Pregnancy Body & Skin Care Favorites

    Our bodies go through a lot of changes during pregnancy, including the skin. Stretch marks, veins, dryness and rashes are just some of the road bumps our bodies will have to go through during this incredible life-making journey, so it’s crucial for us to invest a little more of our time and energy in nourishing and replenishing the skin to aid in the healing and prevention of these skin issues.

    Skin problems I’m personally facing during this pregnancy are dryness, stretch marks, and hormonal acne. So today I’d like to share with you my personal body and skin care favorites that have really helped me maintain my skin’s health!

    1. Body

    a. Body Boost by Basq

    These two are my babies! My mom got them for me and I can’t be happier about the quality of these products. 
    I use these two every time I get out of the shower.

    I apply the Basq Body Boost Milk & Honey Stretch Mark Oil all over my belly, taking it down to my upper pubic area where my stretch marks start, and the sides of my hips up to my waistline where I have stretch marks too. 
    I really, really regret not using this ever since I found out I was pregnant! It could’ve prevented the stretch marks but I was way too sick in my first trimester to take care of my skin. So I’m urging you ladies out there who are still early in pregnancy or are thinking of getting pregnant to find time to take care of your body no matter what
    My stretch marks have not gotten worse, I haven’t gotten any new ones ever since I started using this in my early second trimester when the stretch marks started to appear. So I’m really happy about that, and I’m hoping this will aid in the healing and fading of the marks.
    I love how the oil does not leave a sticky, greasy or gross residue. It is oily, of course, since it is oil, but it does not bother me at all because it gets absorbed into the skin pretty fast and just leaves the skin supple and moisturized. I love that it also nourishes my hands when I apply it.
    Best of all, it smells amazing! Paired with the body butter, I feel like I’m swimming in a pool of milk and honey. Literally.
    After applying the oil, I slather the Basq Body Boost Milk & Honey Stretch Mark Butter to the rest of my body, sometimes even going over the area where I’ve applied the oil with this.
    The thick gel-type consistency is not too difficult to work into the skin which makes it perfect for use right before bed because it won’t make your skin feel tacky and greasy. It just makes the skin feel super smooth and supple.
    Sadly, I think this has been discontinued for a while. However, there are lots of other alternatives out there!
    Here’s a list of my other pregnancy body butter/oil favorites:
    Sanctuary Spa Collagen Boosting Body Butter is an alternative I’ve been using on days when I want a bit of a change in scent. It smells sweet, but not as sweet as milk and honey. It has this soothing rose-infused sort of scent, mixed with shea and cocoa butter. The texture and consistency is of a thick, buttery gel, similar to the Basq.
    Estelle & Thild Pregnancy Body Oil is an alternative body oil I’ve been keeping beside my bed on days when I’ve forgotten to apply body oil while in the bathroom (and can’t be bothered to return to the bathroom. LOL). Honestly, the cute pink packaging is the only reason I got this. The scent isn’t as pleasant, although not off-putting, and the packaging is very fragile. Mine has already gotten a dent from where I’ve squeezed it, and the cap is broken. Scent and packaging wise, not the best. But it’s organic so I guess that’s my favorite thing about it 🙂
    Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action is another product I use a lot of. I use this in the morning, all over my belly, hips and thighs because I don’t shower in the morning since it’s winter here and I prefer showering at night. I find that the body oil and butters are too much to be used in the morning. This cream is so much lighter in consistency, but does require a much longer time to get rubbed and massaged in to the skin. Oh, and the scent isn’t pleasant at all, I actually really dislike the scent. But I’ve heard great reviews about this product and it does work tremendously well for a lot of people, including my sister in law who actually recommended this to me. She only got stretch marks in areas where she did not apply this. So I’m hoping this will prevent more stretch marks for me!

    b. Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

    I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of this since it’s already wet and grubby in my shower! :p

    This is basically a body moisturizer that you apply in the shower as your last step. How cool is that? If you’re lazy or tired and really don’t have the energy to moisturize after you shower, this is the perfect solution for you!

    Once you’re done shampooing, shaving and doing everything else you need to do, turn off the shower for a bit and scoop out this product and slather it over areas you want to moisturize (for me, it’s the whole body!) and massage it in. Turn the shower on again and rinse it off. You’ll see the product get rinsed off, it doesn’t lather at all, but it does leave an oily film on your skin. Don’t fret though! It’s a good thing! It does feel weird when you’re still rinsing it off in the shower, but once you step out and towel dry your body, it will feel soooooo moisturized. It’s safe for you to go straight to bed or go about your day without applying an additional body moisturizer after showering with this.

    For me, this is perfect for days when I’m fatigued and super exhausted after a long day out. I sometimes don’t have the energy to slather on different types of products on my skin after a long day, so I just hop in the shower, finish up with this body conditioner, towel dry and go straight to sleep.

    A popular alternative is the Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturizer (it’s only A$5 at Chemist Warehouse!) but I’ve never tried it before. I’m halfway through my Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, and will be purchasing this after I run out since the Lush is so expensive at A$32.50 for 225g! This one is only a crazy A$5 for 250ml!

    c. Sanctuary Spa Body Moisture Spray

    Words can’t describe how much I love this product. Since it’s winter, I only shower at night because that’s when I need it most, and showering twice a day during winter just worsens my dry skin.
    So I use this in the morning before I start my day.
    This is basically a body moisturizer in a bottle. It’s a very, very light oil that you spray on your body and you don’t even need to rub it in too much, unlike body lotions and creams. It doesn’t leave any kind of film or residue on the skin, so it’s great for use when you’re in a rush! You can immediately dress up after spraying your whole body with this without having bits of cotton and materials sticking on to the skin. I often rush in the morning so this is perfect for me.

    The scent is also amazing and it lingers for quite a while!

    An alternative I’ve been loving lately is the Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer. It has more of a lotion than a light oil formula, and it requires a bit more rubbing in than the Sanctuary Spa, and it’s slightly greasier and absorbs slower. Scent-wise, I also still prefer the Sanctuary Spa, but this is an excellent alternative nevertheless.

    2. Skin

    a. Hydrating Facial Mists

    I can never get enough of facial mists! My skin gets so dry and dehydrated during the day, especially if I’ve spent a majority of my time outdoors, and ever since I was pregnant. So I always have one in my purse, even on my bedside table.
    Facial mists really help your skin stay hydrated, it’s a great boost of hydration for when you don’t have time to re-moisturize of if you’ve got makeup on. These mists do not mess up your makeup at all. If anything, they can help your makeup stay on longer.

    I have three favorite face mists, here they are:

    My all-time favorite is the Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water because it’s the most basic and reliable of its kind. I keep this by my bedside and also have a mini size in my travel toiletries bag for when I’m travelling by plane. This is an air travel staple for me!

    This was featured in my Holy Grail post – I’ve been repurchasing this over and over again for years no matter how many other face mists I have because this is the most reliable out of them all. It is created for sensitive skin by Avene, a French skincare company that specializes in skincare for people with sensitive skin. This one is the safest to use, and the only one I use, when my skin is a bit reactive, allergic or is breaking out because it’s non-comedogenic, oil free and fragrance free. It is the lightest in formula compared to my other mists, it just feels like you’re spraying fresh water on your skin. The mist is very fine, which makes it so easy for the skin to absorb, and it also has a continuous spray and there is no need for you to pat your skin dry after spraying.

    So no matter how many other face mists I have, I will time and time again return to this face mist because this really is the most reliable. I know for sure that this will not break me out or cause irritations.

    Another one of my favorites is the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist. I love how the soothing rose scent lingers for quite a long time, I seriously love the smell of roses that are subtle and refreshing.

    The spray isn’t continuous but it is very fine, and about 4-5 sprays are enough for the whole face. It doesn’t leave any kind of residue on the skin and does not require to be patted or rubbed in to the skin, which is always a plus.

    However, one thing I’m not quite happy about is how heavy the packaging is. I’d love to be able to travel with this and throw this in my purse, but it’s so heavy! This 100ml bottle is the smallest they have, but the opaque, matted bottle is so thick and heavy. I hope they will release a travel-friendly version soon!

    This is the one I’ve been keeping in my purse, the Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist. Gosh I love the scent of this whole line, I’m currently using the Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum as well, and am loving it. I have also tried the moisturizing gel and it is divine.

    Like the Avene, this also has a continuous spray and has a very fine mist. What I love most about this is that unlike the other face mists, this actually adds a glow to the skin!

    The only downside to this is the price. It retails for US$90 at Nordstrom for 48g and the Avene is only about A$6-7 at chemists for 50ml! The price difference is insane but I would still repurchase this (and use it rarely) because I love the scent and the glow it gives!

    b. Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

    On mornings when my skin feels tight, and don’t want to dry it out even further, I avoid washing my face. However, since I do need to treat my hormonal acne, I still have to get any skincare residue from the night before to start fresh. To do this, I go straight to toning my skin. 
    A toner/facial pad I’ve been loving is the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads, but I’m currently running out of it and won’t be able to repurchase it until I head back to the States at the end of the year. So I went looking for an alternative and am glad I remembered loving this back when I was in college.
    This is a super safe, all-natural option for pregnant women out there who are afraid to use skincare products with ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, but still need to treat nasty breakouts.

    This can be applied in two ways: by spraying it straight on to the face, or spraying it on to a cotton pad. On mornings when I don’t wash my face, I apply this on to the skin with a cotton pad to make sure it really gets the skin clean, but I spray it straight to the face on days when I do wash my face, just to freshen it up, balance out my skin’s ph level and prep it for moisturizer and sunscreen.

    This feels like water on the skin and does not have an off-putting smell even though it is tea tree infused. I’m currently alternating between this and my First Aid Beauty pads until it’s finished (I probably have about 4-5 pads left) and my skin has never looked better.

    This is a must have during pregnancy for me because it’s pregnancy-safe, is alcohol free, has natural ingredientstreats and prevents acne, and does not strip the skin.

    c. Pure Paw Paw Ointment

    Another one of my staples is paw paw ointment!
    Paw Paw ointments in general are described as a topical ointment to treat cuts, burns, rashes, insect bites, chafing, open wounds, nappy rash and dry/flaky/chapped skin. This is not just a pregnancy must have for me, but a general must-have! Everyone needs to have this in their lives.
    I used to use (and still have) the good ol’ Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment which everyone and their mamas love. However, I recently spotted these cuties at Priceline!
    Pure Paw Paw Ointments come in four different scents (or flavors?) and my personal favorites are the Grape and Strawberry. I forgot what the other two were, but one of them was Watermelon, I think.

    These ones aren’t as thick as the Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, they’re much more slippery and thin in consitency but that’s why I love it. It’s a bit difficult to layer the Lucas with other lip products like lipstick and lip gloss, but these ones are so light that applying a light layer and then topping it off with lipstick makes the lipstick appear glossy and pretty.

    But what really got me into these are the yummy scents! Well, obviously the cute packaging too. But the scent is seriously what makes me gaga over these, the grape scent is so divine! It doesn’t linger for too long, but when you apply, you can definitely sniff it. So adorable!

    At night, I apply this not just on the lips but around the mouth area as well because I tend to get flakey skin around there. Sometimes around my nose as well. 

    3. Inner Health

    Aside from all the topical stuff, you really need to focus on what you’re doing on the inside too. What your body is like on the inside is reflected on the outside, so if you have a healthy body, it will also be reflected on your skin.

    These are the additional things I’ve been loving that’s been so beneficial for my skin:

    a. Nails, Skin, and Hair Supplement

    Prenatal multivitamins are a must, of course, but for those of you suffering from stubborn hormonal acne problems, taking additional supplements for the skin is unlikely to be harmful. My OB has given me the green light to add this supplement to my daily vitamin intake, and ever since I’ve been taking it, I’ve had no additional hormonal breakouts!

    I’m currently only struggling with the acne marks/hyperpigmentation but don’t actually have any active breakouts. Maybe it’s my skincare routine, but it could be this as well!

    PLEASE NOTE: Always consult with your practitioner(s) before taking extra supplements during pregnancy.

    This supplement contains Zinc which is known to be great at reducing acne, and it is considered safe for consumption during pregnancy because it doesn’t contain Vitamin A, which is generally a no-no during pregnancy.

    Consult your OB for additional skin health supplements to help with your acne. This has personally made a huge difference for me.

    b. Greens

    I’m not gonna write an essay on this, even though I could! But seriously, greens are so important, even when you’re not pregnant, but you need it even more when you’re pregnant. Not just for the health of your bub, but yourself, and your skin!

    Check out this great article about the benefits of kale, my favorite green veggie! I drink kale juice every single day and love it blending it with berries and apples.

    I’d love to do a separate post on this one day! 🙂

    c. Water

    Yes, so cliche. But it’s true! Water hydrates your whole body and thus nourishes your skin. There are numerous benefits of staying hydrated with water, not tea, coffee or carbonated drinks – but pure water.

    This has been fun! Of course I have a lot of other skincare favorites, but these are just a few of my staples.

    Hope you’ve enjoyed this and do share with me what your pregnancy favorites are/were!


    Favorites, Makeup, Skincare

    July 2014 Beauty Favorites

    As we creep towards the end of July, it’s time for me to reflect on what I’ve loved using/wearing the most over the past month! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by, I’m 3 months away from giving birth – I can hardly wait!

    So, this month’s been a lot of fun – probably the best month I’ve had so far this year because I finally got to travel! After months of confinement due to pregnancy, which was literally eating my soul (you jetsetters out there will understand), I finally had an excuse to hop on a plane!

    I spent the first week of July in Sydney for the annual Hillsong conference (which was a blast!), and the second week at Mount Hotham. So some of the things I’ve been loving lately are those that I used while travelling, or new discoveries as I did some shopping with my mom when I got back to Melbourne!

    1. Eve Lom Cleanser

    This is currently my favorite nighttime cleanser, but because of its steep price I only use it when I’m wearing heavy makeup. On days when I’m not wearing makeup, I would cleanse using my morning cleanser (La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet with a Clarisonic if I’m washing my face in the shower, or Fresh Soy Face Cleanser if I’m washing my face in the bathroom sink).
    eve lom cleansing balm
    Eve Lom Cleanser
    I’ve only ever tried a handful of cleansing balms before, namely the Clinique Take The Day Off, The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser and the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel – but for me, none of them have been able to excel in both makeup removal and skin cleansing, they’re only good in one or the other. The Clinique one is a great makeup remover, but I still need to use a proper night cleanser afterwards. The Organic Pharmacy and SK-II are great cleansers, but doesn’t remove eye makeup as well as the Eve Lom.
    This Eve Lom cleanser is insanely good IMO because it:
    1. Removes and dissolves makeup, including the most stubborn mascara residue on the roots of the lashes
    2. Cleanses and nourishes the skin (does not leave skin feeling tight and dry afterwards)
    3. Exfoliates the skin (balm contains soft, little exfoliating granules)
    4. Hydrates the skin, and preps it well for skin care regimen 
    I love that this cleanser eliminates the need for double cleansing at night! So this is perfect for me as I’m super lazy when it comes to skincare these days.

    eve lom cleansing balm
    Eve Lom Cleanser

    Will do an in-depth review really soon, and plan to purchase the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm once I run out so I can do a comparison!

    Eve Lom Muslin Cloth

    I’d also like to acknowledge the muslin cloth for being so remarkable – it is unlike any other muslin cloths I’ve had.

    First, makeup is easily washed away from the cloth, compared to my Organic Pharmacy muslin cloth. Took forever for me to get rid of eyeliner and mascara stains from my Organic Pharmacy muslin cloth, but with the Eve Lom one, I just simply have to run it under hot/warm water, wash it for a bit, and everything’s gone! I don’t even need to use soap or detergent!

    Secondly, it exfoliates the skin really well without being too abrasive or harsh. It’s actually really, really soft. Major love!

    2. By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream

    I am constantly on the hunt for a great moisturizer, and am glad I finally found this cream!
    By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream
    By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream

    This is my current go-to nighttime moisturizer (night cream). The cold and dry weather is taking a toll on my skin, especially my chin area (where all of my breakouts are) which is super dehydrated and dry because of my acne treatment. I started using Cetaphil in late April/early May but the finish is somehow rather oily and greasy – it somehow doesn’t get absorbed into the skin and sort of just sits there on top of the skin.

    I started using this mid-June and haven’t stopped since! It’s the only moisturizer that’s been working well for me – it normalizes and hydrates my chin area really well but doesn’t over-hydrate the other areas of my face.

    It also doesn’t clog pores, I’ve never broken out from this product and I’ve been using this nightly for the past month and a half. My skin is very sensitive to products that clog pores – if a product is pore-clogging, next morning I will end up with clogged pores around the nose, and after a day or two, will break out around chin and cheeks. Didn’t happen with this one!

    The thick texture reminds me of Creme de La Mer, except this smells like a field of roses. Ooh la la! However, it doesn’t feel thick upon application because the cream has to be warmed up between fingers first to melt the product, similar to Creme de La Mer, and it has a very smooth finish – absorbs quickly, no greasiness or tackiness, but skin feels nourished and hydrated.

    By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream moisturizer

    By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream moisturizer
    By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream

    I’m currently about halfway way through the whole pot (I’ve actually started using this in April, but stopped for a while when I had an allergic reaction to a medication and my skin got irritated – I had to use Cetaphil for a while) because I sometimes use this in the morning only in my chin area. As much as I love this, it hurts me that I don’t think I would repurchase this any time soon since it’s so expensive! I actually didn’t purchase this myself, I received this from a swap.
    By the time I finish this product it’d probably be Summer here, so I don’t think I would need a moisturizer this thick, will probably repurchase close to Winter. I’m currently eyeing the Murad Essential-C Night Moisture and Origins GinZing for Summertime! 

    3. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze

    Simple, easy and perfect on-the-go makeup item. 
    Just swipe, blend, and voila!

    Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Amber Haze
    Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Amber Haze

    This is perfect for travelling or when you’re in a rush. Just swipe this all over the lids (focusing on lower lash line) and blend upwards and outwards with finger. Makes it seem like a bit more effort was put into my eye makeup, although it was just one swipe of this!
    The product dries out pretty fast, so have to work with it pretty quick. It stays put all day and doesn’t budge or crease even without eyelid primer. However, you may need to prime your lids first if you have oilier lids.
    I featured this in my simple travel makeup bag post. I love pairing this with the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Kitten!

    Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Amber Haze stila kitten
    Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Amber Haze and Stila Kitten
    I’ve also been liking By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon but it’s too shimmery for everyday use. This one doesn’t have too much shimmer (or glitter) so it’s the perfect neutral, everyday bronze/brown base.

    4. Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Kitten

    I raved about this product here! So I’m not going to go into much detail with this one.

    stila kitten
    Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Kitten

    stila kitten
    Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Kitten – Close Up

    I simply love it, and it’s currently a makeup staple!

    5. Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer in 13 Sand Beige

    This is simply the best highlighter I’ve ever encountered thus far. The quality of this product really does justify its price.

    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige

    First of all, can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the packaging? Ooh! 

    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige
    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige

    It comes with a beautiful, cream velvet pouch.

    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige
    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige – Velvet Pouch

    Inspired by the way a seashell radiates light, this powder adds a natural luminosity wherever it’s applied. Cle de Peau claims that it uses “innovative light-diffusing technology to define contours and illuminate your complexion“, and it really does live up to its claims. 

    The powder is made up of a prism of warm colors, namely pinks, creams, reddish bronze and taupe. When blended together it creates the most amazing luminosity on the skin.

    I seriously hate (and hate is a strong word) highlighters that appear streaky, chalky and too apparent! So I really appreciate the quality of this powder for being so finely milled that even the “glitters” are not too apparent when they melt onto the skin.

    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige
    Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer 13 Sand Beige

    I usually apply this on the tops of my cheekbones before blush, and on the bridge of my nose and my chin. My flat and dull-looking face immediately looks so much more radiant and awake.

    The best thing is, it never looks streaky and it won’t look like I’ve applied a highlighter in purpose. With some highlighters, you can definitely see where the line between the skin and the line where the highlighter starts is drawn. However, this highlighter is able to blend seamlessly with the skin, it’s very subtle and people won’t notice you have a conventional “cheek highlighter” on your skin, it radiates a lit-from-within glow. Unlike most highlighters, this does not sit on the skin and slip around, spreading glitter all over the face, throughout the day. This nicely melts into the skin, thus creating the dubbed “lit-from-within” luminescent glow.
    It comes in four shades, and mine is in the shade 13 Sand Beige and it is the warmest out of four shades.

    Runner-ups are for my favorite, most natural looking highlighters are Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight and Soap & Glory Glow All Out!

    6. NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

    I no longer bring a powder foundation in my makeup bag, this is the only powder I bring wherever I travel. I also don’t bring huge powder brushes anymore, a slim Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush is all I bring to apply this product only on areas I’ve used concealer on. So I basically use this powder to set my all my concealing and it makes it stay put all day, and smooths out the tackiness/greasiness of the concealer or foundation.
    On minimal-makeup days I just use Cle de Peau concealer on areas that need to be concealed and this setting powder.

    NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

    NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

    The finishing feel on the skin is very akin to Make Up For Ever HD Powder and Tarte Amazonian Clay Smooth Operator, but this one has tiny micro shimmers in it to help luminize the skin, which makes it amazing for the undereye area. I really like those ones too, but prefer this one because it’s pressed, and the packaging is very slim and travel friendly. It comes with a pouch and a slim puff.
    So sleek and beautiful!

    Hope you all had a fun July! Can’t believe we’re halfway through 2014! XO 🙂